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A 1972 CB 650 for a beginning biker?

23296 Views 47 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  HornHonker
First Again!
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Don't listen to all the snobbery. An old CB650 would be a fine learner's bike. They had decent brakes and very linear power delivery.

However it appears that a lot of people who have these old Japanese bikes gathering dust are living in some sort of dreamland. They seem to think that the ridiculously high resale on old HDs somehow transfers to their old lackluster bikes. An old CB650, not a particularly popular bike at any time, isn't worth much. Even new it wasn't much more than $1650. I wouldn't pay more than $700-800 for it. Many parts are completely unavailable now. Federal law only requires importers to provide parts for 7 years, I believe.
In '72 it was still the CB500, right? I almost bought one when I got out of the Nav in '71.

If it's a CB350 I wouldn't give more than $300-400. CB350s were designed and built as cheap throwaway motorcycles. As a typical Japanese multi, it is reliable but atrociously expensive to rebuild once it wears out.. Old Hondas are best thrown away. Or you buy 3 or 4 of the same bike so you can keep one running. Sort of like you had to do with brand new AMF Harleys.

I guess in your case you buy a couple dozen CB350s. Then you can keep them running for years. If anyone would want to.
No no. Not crack. My ex-brother-in-law gave me a well thrashed CB350 twin years ago. Another friend asked me to sell his old thrashed CB350 when he was suddenly transfered to another town. Both bikes (they were WELL used, like 40,000 miles used) were pretty pathetic and the costs of new engine parts (valves, guide, carb boots,pistons, etc) were far more than the bikes could ever have been sold for.

That's generally been my experience with old Japanese multis. Engine rebuilds are exceedingly costly.
All they have to do is provide the parts. So, sometimes it takes 7 years to get them after you order them.
I defer to your opinion on the CB350 twin. You obviously have better karma with old Hondas. Mine have had a tendency to blow up.

The old Kwacker though.... you may find that you'll wear out before it will.
Yeah, you're probably right about some models.

I don't think I'll invest in any old KZ400/440 twins though.

Maybe I should look for an old Titan or two.
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